West Seattle, Washington
After 10 months, it appears Table 35 has shut down. Shortly after one note from a WSB’er saying the Junction restaurant was closed, dark, and looking “bare” inside tonight, another note came in (from a reliable, known source) saying they were at a private party at Table 35 Saturday night and were “informed by the owners that that would be their last night.” We went by a short time ago – indeed closed (though they were regularly open Mondays), dark, but no note on the door; no one answered the phone.Table 35 opened last January, five months after Ama Ama ended a 21-month run in the space. We’ll continue working to see what more we can find out.
Turnout doesn’t seem like the right word any more, since we vote by mail, but whatever you call it, King County Elections expects a record number of votes – 720,000, 68 percent of those registered, way beyond the 650,000 mail ballots returned for the presidential election two years ago. So far, King County says more than 400,000 ballots have come in – and you have about 23 more hours to vote. We say “about” because you might be able to get your ballot postmarked November 2nd if you get it late tomorrow night to the post-office branch that usually does that – but why take a chance? Drop it in the mail earlier in the day, or take it to one of the county dropboxes (which, KC Elections warns, will be closed promptly at 8 pm). If you already have sent your ballot in, you can check on its status by going here; the county also wants to remind voters that they may check with you regarding problems with the signature on your mail ballot, so if you get a message from them, get back to them fast to make sure your ballot will count, before the final vote is certified on November 23rd. First round of results is due out around 8:15 pm tomorrow night; we’ll be following key races here. P.S. If you’ve voted and you have a website or someplace else you want to display King County’s “virtual sticker” at left, grab the code here and go for it!
This is the third week of the trial for the consolidated lawsuits filed over Fauntleroy Place, aka “The Hole,” also nicknamed “Hole Foods” before Whole Foods pulled out of the two-years-stalled West Seattle project (in which its role was only that as a tenant for the supposed-to-be-finished-by-now building). With the end of the trial drawing near, WSB contributor Katie Meyer is monitoring the courtroom action. She says the schedule that King County Superior Court Judge Susan Craighead and staff projected last week appears to be stretching out a bit – the judge said late today that the way things are going, closing statements are NOT likely tomorrow after all, Katie reports. Today’s witnesses included people from Seattle Capital, who had financed the project – John Huddleston and Robert Story, Jr. – as well as brief questioning of Nicholas Chase from Affordable Abatement, which worked on asbestos removal and interior demolition, regarding tens of thousands they say they had to write off that was owed to them for their work on the project. One of the main things the trial is supposed to determine is who owes who what and in what order; until that’s all settled, the site can’t move on to its next phase, which is prospective ownership by “3922 SW Alaska LLC,” related to Madison Development. Katie’s writing up more notes from court right now, to be added here later.
That’s one of the stars of Skeleton Theatre 2010 – “The Death of Rock” (here’s our report from last night; here’s our earlier preview) – with a glass pumpkin left courtesy of West Seattle Art Attack (remember them? if not, read this). The photo’s from Maia Low, part of the Skeleton Theatre team, who wanted to let everyone know THE SHOW WILL GO ON TONIGHT AS PLANNED, rain or no rain. Maia added, “We’re also hoping to add more videos to tonight’s show!” and, regarding the WSAA surprise (which we have independently confirmed), she wrote, “While bagging up the skeletons for the night, we found a wonderful glass pumpkin on our front porch. We were thrilled to find it and it makes me feel like we’ve won an Academy Award! It means a great deal to us to receive such a lovely sign of support from our neighbors (beyond everyone’s willingness to come out and see our shows).” 36th and Hanford (map), 6-9 pm tonight, the animatronic-skeletons-plus-bigscreen-video show runs continuously (with a few minutes’ break between performances), no admission charge but if you want to donate $ to help with expenses, there’s a PayPal link on the ST website.
After multiple notes in the past few hours saying a “For Lease” sign had been spotted at the West Seattle Pharmacy site – where a coffee stand had opened while the pharmacy license was awaited – we called proprietor Kenny Wolfe to ask what happened. He tells WSB it just didn’t work out because of a combination of circumstances mostly centering on federal (Drug Enforcement Administration) licensing taking too long – four months longer than expected. “The stars just weren’t aligned,” he tells WSB, which means he’s going back to working as a pharmacist “for someone else, instead of myself.” So now the storefront at California/Brandon (across from West Seattle Nursery) — where Westside Pharmacy closed more than a year ago, after its longtime proprietor moved his business into the then-new Junction QFC — needs a new tenant, and contact info should be posted at the storefront by tomorrow.
Three weeks till the Seattle City Council is expected to take its final vote on next year’s budget, with whatever changes they make to the original proposal that Mayor Mike McGinn presented five weeks ago. Next Budget Committee meeting is tomorrow – and one of the agenda items involves reviewing specific parts of the Police Department’s budget, including one that’s been of particular interest in communities including West Seattle – the Crime Prevention Coordinators’ status. The mayor’s proposal would eliminate three of the seven coordinators citywide; those coordinators are civilian employees who handle a wide variety of programs dealing directly with the public, including Block Watch and the annual Night Out. If you have something to say about this (or any other aspect of the city budget), this page includes a variety of ways to do that; meantime, tomorrow’s all-day budget hearing is scheduled to focus on SPD at about 3:15 pm (here’s the all-day agenda).
Today’s weather is what the Combined Sewer Overflow situation along south West Seattle beaches is potentially all about: If heavy rainstorm runoff from “combined sewer” systems overwhelms a pump station’s capacity, that triggers an untreated-water overflow containing raw sewage as well as stormwater, and that’s bad news for Puget Sound, so King County has to decide how to reduce those overflows. Right now the focus in West Seattle is on the “basins” feeding two pump stations, Murray (Lowman Beach) and Barton (north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock). The process of figuring out the best way to reduce CSOs at Murray has stirred the most controversy, after the county back in March unveiled three options, including potentially digging up most of Lowman Beach Park to put in a huge storage facility. Tonight, the county is hoping for maximum community turnout at a briefing on the option that a community-advisory group favors – involving putting most of the storage under the south parking lot at Lincoln Park (county photo at right). In particular, it’s hoped the Fauntleroy community comes to hear about this, since it’s in their area, rather than in the area directly served by the Murray station. The meeting is 6:30-8:30 pm tonight at The Hall at Fauntleroy in the Fauntleroy schoolhouse (as explained here) – 9131 California SW; here’s a map.
Via Twitter, Dartanyon sent that photo of a tree down across 21st SW, north of Myrtle, not far from Sanislo Elementary, within the past hour. We don’t have updated information yet on whether that tree is still blocking the road – we’ll be heading out to check – but wanted to show it as a general reminder that (a) with this heavy rain, you may run into sudden trouble, and (b) if you do, please share the news, since a localized problem likely won’t make it to the level of, say, an SDOT alert. Here’s how to reach us. P.S. While the latest forecast still suggests it’ll get windier later, that’s been downgraded a bit – the highest predicted wind speed is now 25 mph.
First El Rey del Taco (north of Home Depot for 2 1/2 years now), then Taqueria Contreras (by Super 24 for 2 months now), now, meet Beloved Mexico, the latest taco truck to park itself in West Seattle. As you might guess from the surroundings in the photo, it’s in the West Seattle Produce lot along Fauntleroy Way south of SW Alaska. Though it’s painted with a Web address, we checked and the site’s not up yet; Janine – who sent us a tip about the truck, as did Kathleen (thanks!) – says the truck operators told her they’ll be there daily from “about 10:30 am to 8 pm.”
Two years after the stalled buses of Snowpocalypse (right) – one year after a virtually problem-free mild winter – Metro is taking steps today to make sure it’s ready, and its riders are ready, in case this winter turns out to be more like 2008-2009 than 2009-2010. Metro boss Kevin Desmond is briefing the King County Council this morning at 9:30 am; you can watch live on cable channel 22 or kingcounty.gov/council. And Metro’s just sent out a news release with reminders about the route-specific e-mail/text alerts you can sign up for now in case something goes awry with your bus (or the Water Taxi!), whether it’s snow, rain, bridges, or any other trouble. See it here (links included). We’ll have more on the Metro briefing later. (P.S. Our preview on the plan that never had to kick in last year was in this November 2009 story.) 9:43 AM UPDATE: The briefing has just begun. 10:46 AM UPDATE: The briefing’s over. No big surprises but we are working on a separate summary – we’ve also asked for the graphics from the presentation, so that we can share that info if you missed the briefing.
ADDED 4 PM: The summary’s been sidetracked but here, courtesy of Linda Thielke at the KC Department of Transportation, is the PowerPoint presentation given today – including an example of how the Metro website will look when they kick into severe weather mode. Interesting points included the county’s “memorandum of understanding” with the city of Seattle and its commitment to helping plow key in-city bus routes, particularly, they say, SODO.
As school resumes this morning after Halloween weekend, one local class has not only the weekend activities to discuss, but also the excitement that concluded the week: Dano Beal‘s 2nd-grade class from Lafayette Elementary found out the truth about spiders. Above, they’re at Camp Long on Friday, getting briefed by naturalist Stewart Wechsler before going out on a spider hunt. But first, back at school on Thursday, they showed off their own spiders, built primarily from edible material such as vegetables:
One of the requirements: The creations had to represent real spiders. This one nested in a box:
Many of the students were quite excited to show off their spiders’ attributes – some took great pride in insisting theirs were particularly deadly (this was before the Camp Long myth-debunking session). For example, this piece of paper demonstrated the relative distance a spider can jump :
The Thursday classroom event was billed as a “Creepy, Crawly Tea,” including this spooky brew:
Mr. Beal explained that spiders are a subject that not only gets students’ attention, but is also a topic they can really dive into.